David Gillman was born in Glenroy, Victoria, Australia. An only child, his parents, Wendy and Stewart Gillman, own a family printing business where David works, assisting with the management of the operation. In 1982, his family moved to Essendon. His early childhood was relatively happy, though this soon deteriorated as he was subjected to systematic and ongoing bullying throughout his school years. Powerless to stop the bullying, David attempted suicide at the age of 12.
David went on to face other major setbacks, like the threat of losing his family business due to the predatory actions of Prison Industries Victoria and in an unrelated incident, the loss of the family business due to a misdirected act of arson. He assisted his family in rebuilding the business three times, introducing new technologies, equipment and strategies to maintain and cement their position as market leader. They not only recovered, but ultimately overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles, growing stronger as a business and also as a family. It is these experiences and David’s powerful and compelling story of personal growth that forms the core of his uplifting biographical story.
A competitive ballroom dancer, David and his partner Jacqui Clark won five National Dance Sport events, three of them in one day at the Australian Dance Sport Championships in 2011. He also won four Victorian State Championships, three partnered with Jacqui and one with another dancer. David spent some time as a ballroom dancing teacher in Bendigo, where he used a combination of traditional dance instruction and Neuro-Linguistic Programming mindset techniques which he developed especially for his students. David recently retired from teaching dance.
David is a Master Life Coach and a registered member of the Australian Board of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. He uses his challenging life experiences to inspire and encourage people, young and old, who may be confronting similar issues and provides a road map to help them change their harmful behavioural patterns and self-defeating thoughts.
He knows only too well the debilitating effect that bullying and depression can have on young people. He was compelled to tell his story in the hope that he would prompt young people to seek help before taking irrevocable actions. In his book, David outlines strategies that help people who are struggling with suicidal thoughts. He leads them to discover a set of rules (principles) to get their life on a more positive track and encourages them to put a simple step-by-step plan in place in order to rebuild their lives. Using his experiences as a guide, they will develop a life-affirming plan which makes them stronger, more resilient and which offers them fulfilment, no matter what they have gone through in the past.
David hopes to also enlighten the parents and loved ones of at risk children, by providing a glimpse into the psyche of a suicidal twelve year old.